Saturday, May 28, 2022

I Said In Mine Heart

Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

“The Preacher” continues into chapter two with another “red-flag” phrase to cause us to be most careful as we make decisions and plans for our lives. In light of Jeremiah 17:9, I cringe when I hear someone say that they are going to follow their heart. The human heart only knows what it sees and hears in this world. Chasing his heart’s content is exactly what Solomon is seeking, and yet he eventually calls it vanity. It is the Spirit that gives counsel.

This King of Israel has been gifted with Godly wisdom to rule over God’s people, but he has not applied that wisdom to his own life. In many ways, Solomon is a double minded man (James 1:8). Our modern concept of “situation ethics” evolved from post-modernist thinking, but clearly it has been rooted in the hearts of mankind since the Garden of Eden. "What’s good for society isn’t necessarily good for me."

That means “truth” is no longer applicable in human society, and it’s every man for themselves! This is not what God had in mind. If you want proof of this statement, just look at all the different social and cultural ideologies just in our own country. “Diversity” is just another word for duplicitous (double-mindedness). There is no ‘one-nation-under-God’ here anymore. There is no singular goal that US residents are seeking after. Indeed, on several levels diversity promotes racism in our current cultural atmosphere.

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?”

On this Memorial Day Weekend, we call to memory the hundreds of thousands who fought and gave their lives for the cause of freedom. We honor them and their families for their sacrifice. That singular goal has met with the forces of other nations who did not share the love for freedom, and for the most part, they keep their citizens in bondage to the wealthy and powerful.

Lord! Help us all to find our true freedom in You!

Today's audio message:
Ecclesiastes 2:1-26 - "I Said In Mine Heart"


As we continue in our study of Ecclesiastes, I can’t help but think of Frank Sinatra’s song, I did it my way. A life that is lived separate from God, is a life that is preoccupied with self. It is always hungry and never satisfied.

This week’s study is entitled, “I Said In My Heart.” Solomon is now trying to satisfy himself in worldly pleasures. It’s hard to imagine someone like Solomon not being satisfied. He had everything yet it was not enough.

The world tells us to follow our hearts and dreams, and that true happiness comes from within. We are told from the very beginning of our lives that if we do what we want, we can be what we want, and we can find true happiness. Jeremiah 17:9-10 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

So, Solomon sets out to satisfy himself with the pleasures of his heart. Notice the words “I” and “myself.”
  • I said to myself, “Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good.”
  • I increased my achievements. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself.
  • I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees.
  • I made gardens and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them.
  • I also amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.
  • I gathered male and female singers for myself, and many concubines, the delights of men.
  • All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them. I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles.
Do you notice a theme? Solomon seems to have an “I” problem. After experimenting with all these things, he debunks the great lie. He is not satisfied, he is empty and miserable.

The vanity of self-indulgence is perhaps the easiest of topics for us to identify with because it covers the smorgasbord of fleshly desires we most typically crave: wealth, power, status and intimacy.

Solomon sought after, accomplished, and exceeded these feats to the extent that no man could rival him. His vast array of riches, entitlement, personal conquests, and material accumulation were unparalleled, yet he was never satisfied with his pursuits, and found life to be empty, and unsatisfying.

He sought all the comforts and temporary satisfactions this world has to offer and found himself more discontent than ever.

Whether we know it or not, all of us are engaged in a quest for something which will meet the needs of our heart. We all are looking for the secret of life and peace and true happiness.

The truth is, without Jesus, nothing else can satisfy. All the work, wisdom and wealth in the world cannot compare to the completeness found in Christ alone. He alone satisfies our deepest needs! And contrary to the life of Solomon
 consuming pleasures for himself, our Lord came to give, to serve and to minister and to offer His life for others.

All that this world has to offer are fading pleasures that leave us empty and wanting. There is nothing under the sun that can cure the emptiness that is inside of us.

Solomon understood the hard way that living the high life was not all it’s cracked up to be. The more he gained under the sun, the further he drifted away from the relationship he once had with the Lord.

This world and everything in it is temporary, but in Christ we have everlasting life, joy and peace.

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